Vakyapadiya of Bhartrihari

by K. A. Subramania Iyer | 1965 | 391,768 words

The English translation of the Vakyapadiya by Bhartrihari including commentary extracts and notes. The Vakyapadiya is an ancient Sanskrit text dealing with the philosophy of language. Bhartrhari authored this book in three parts and propounds his theory of Sphotavada (sphota-vada) which understands language as consisting of bursts of sounds conveyi...

This book contains Sanskrit text which you should never take for granted as transcription mistakes are always possible. Always confer with the final source and/or manuscript.

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation of verse 2.428:

प्रयोक्तैवाभिसन्धत्ते साध्यसाधनरूपताम् ।
अर्थस्य वाऽभिसम्बन्धकल्पनां प्रसमीहते ॥ ४२८ ॥

prayoktaivābhisandhatte sādhyasādhanarūpatām |
arthasya vā'bhisambandhakalpanāṃ prasamīhate || 428 ||

428. It is the speaker who thinks of something as a process and something else as its accessory and it is he who thinks of the relation between the two.


It is now stated that all this conception of process and accessory and their mutual relation is artificial and relative and not real.

[Read verse 428 above]

[The point here is that there is nothing fixed about these three things: that which is to be accomplished, that which helps in its accomplishment and the relation between the two. It is a matter of the speaker’s choice. As the Vṛtti puts it—Yogyaśaktinibandhanayā vivakṣayā śabdapramāṇakaḥ prayoktā śabdaśaktim anugacchann api vivakṣantaṃ tamarthaṃ tathā tathā samīhate. Na hi vastutaḥ sādhyatvaṃ siddhatvaṃ vā śabdapravṛttinimittam. Kiñcāvyavasthitam aniyataṃ vidyate.]

If these were fixed, nobody would be able to change them. But we see that the same thing is presented differently by different speakers.

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